PH gets P380M from UN for 'anticipatory actions' against strong typhoons

Published October 7, 2021, 5:12 PM

by Betheena Unite

The Philippines has received more than P380 million funding from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (UNCERF) mechanism to beef up the country’s anticipatory relief actions days before the onslaught of typhoons in vulnerable communities.

Submerged homes in Cagayan Province, which felt the wrath of Typhoon Ulysses in November 2020. (Photo by Handout / Philippine Coast Guard / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez announced this during a recent high-level meeting co-chaired by National Defense Secretary and Chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Delfin Lorenzana.

The funds will be allocated as part of “an innovative pilot test for anticipatory actions” aimed at addressing challenges of the climate crisis.

It was explained that the two-year funding from the UNCERF is designed to support 270,500 most vulnerable people in 44 municipalities across Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas three days prior to landfall of a category 4 or 5 typhoon.

Lorenzana noted that “the Government of the Philippines is inspired to embark on this joint anticipatory action program and is eager to further explore how to contextualize the pilot and ensure it empowers the local government units which are our first line of defense’.”

“This work would not be possible without international collaboration and I welcome the resource partners and recognize their commitment, both globally and nationally, in advancing humanitarian response, disaster risk reduction and addressing climate change,” Gonzalez said.

“UK, Germany, EU and Canada are key contributors to the CERF and these resource partners, together with the World Bank, are also pioneering supporters of anticipatory action,” Gonzalez added.

A series of anticipatory pilots are facilitated by the CERF around the world as there is a compelling amount of evidence that acting before the disaster hits, cuts the costs of humanitarian response, preserves people’s dignity and allows for a faster recovery by protecting hard-won development gains that were already achieved.

The high-level talk brought together the Department of National Defense (DND) and its Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Ambassadors of Canada, Germany, EU and UK, which are key countries supporting the anticipatory action as well as the CERF.